Tuesday 12/09 (1/2)
We go back to Beijing. We stop at the Olympic Village (Beijing organized the Olympic Games in 2008). Quick stop to see the National Stadium (aka ‘the Bird’s Nest’) and the National Aquatics Center (aka ‘the (Water) Cube’).
We arrive around 3pm at the restaurant ‘Suhu’ near our apartment. As part of the tour a hot pot lunch was included but we asked the agency to replace it by this veggie restaurant where Isabelle and I had a nice diner a few days ago. Kids like it very much also (moreover, we were in a private room with turning platter).
An hour rest in the apartment and we go again (Is it too much? Probably yes…). We want to go and see the Jinghsan Park from where we have a nice view from the Forbidden City. But it’s already 5:45pm and it will be dark soon (sunset is around 6:45pm). So we go (by bus) to Tian’amen. We want to see the Workers Cultural Palace but it’s closed! There are a lot of people on Tian’amen Square to attend the (daily) lowering of the flag.
We take the bus to the Jingzun restaurant, in Sanlitun. We want to have a second Peking duck experience and we booked this recommended restaurant, frequented by expats and locals alike. We order 2 roasted ducks. Very nice but the relation between Ludivine and Jules doesn’t go better, on the contrary. It’s a bit sad because Jules feels very much alone (the 2 girls are constantly together) and a bit left out, being therefore much on the defensive. And Ludivine knows how to make him upset…
Afterwards we go and do some shopping (in a very nice gourmet store) for the 2 last breakfasts in our Beijing apartment. We buy fruits and juices. We even find Belgian chocolate (Cote d’Or Noir de Noir in small bars, my favorite one!).
We take the metro to go back home. Kids are in their beds at 10:30pm. Too late again. Very tiring days for them. And, as already mentioned, we walk 14 km daily on average since we arrived in Beijing.
I write posts until 2am (2 more posts on Beijing; I’m catching up…).
We do some homeschooling after a healthy breakfast. I write some posts.
Programme is more relax today for our last day in Beijing.
We eat a quick lunch at home (the Slovak cheese that we received from the Slovaks in the Tsaatans village) before exploring Beijing for the last time.
We go first to the Workers Cultural Palace. It is not more open than yesterday but we get a view of it from the park around. According to the guide books, it’s one of Beijing’s best-kept secrets; something of a minor Forbidden City in layout, infinitely less crowded but equally beautiful in parts.
We then take the bus to the Jinshang Park, to see the view of the Forbidden City. Unfortunately, the visibility is not great today (we have the famous white sky of Beijing), which helps us to realize how lucky we’ve been with the weather for the visit of the 2 main attractions of our stay: the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.
We then go (by bus) to a bar near the Drum & Bell Towers, ‘The Orchid’, recommended by Cécile. Surprising hotel-restaurant-bar in the middle of the hutongs. We take a drink on the top terrace, with a nice view on the hutongs.
We want to eat nearby in order not to be too late home for the kids. We find a pizzeria near the Qianhai lake. We are alone but the pizzas are ok.
We go back by bus to our apartment.
I don’t have the courage to continue catching up with the posts tonight. The best thing about this blog is to receive the comments from our families and friends (by WhatsApp, Facebook or directly on the blog). Even if I don’t reply very often, I enjoy very much reading these messages (Fabienne, you’re still the number one ‘commentator’ on the blog; please continue!). We received loads of reactions to the posts on Beijing. Marielle made me laugh when she said that asking rice with dim sums is like ordering rice on a 4 seasons pizza… And I spare you the comments of my mother reacting to the fact that the kids waited during 2 hours in front of the door of the apartment, “in a country where nobody understands them”…